Bob Dylan Sells His Masters To Sony After Selling His Publishing Rights To UMG For $300 Million

Lately, we’ve seen a growing trend of legacy artists and their estates selling off their catalog’s publishing rights and masters. This past December, Bruce Springsteen sold his to Sony for a handsome sum of $500 million. In January, David Bowie’s estate fetched more than $250 million for his. Now Bob Dylan, who a little over a year ago netted over $300 million for his publishing rights in a sale to Universal Music Publishing Group (UMG), has sold the recorded rights to his masters to Sony Music Entertainment.

As Rolling Stone reports, the deal is likely worth “between low-to-mid nine-figures for the masters.” For a better understanding of the difference, RS does a fine job of explaining it clearly: “All songs have two copyrights. Recorded rights pertain to a specific recording, including the master tracks, while publishing rights comprise the song’s composition such as music and lyrics. Recorded rights are tied more directly to streaming and sales royalties while publishing rights pertain more to performances and use in film and television.”

Back to Dylan, who has been signed to the Sony-owned Columbia Records for essentially his whole career since the 1960s: This deal ensures that the gatekeepers of his music are an entity whom he has a long-standing relationship with and that his proverbial nest egg is in place.

“Columbia Records and Rob Stringer have been nothing but good to me for many, many years and a whole lot of records,” Dylan said in a statement. “I’m glad that all my recordings can stay where they belong.”